Fingerprint of God a Work of Genius
Recently, I helped edit some excerpts for his book’s website, which instilled a new appreciation for the genius of his work.
Dr. Bryce uses his medical background to draw comparisons between the human body and the body of Christ. He says God designed His church to function in the same way as our physical body: on a grassroots, independently-operating, and DNA-driven—from the Bible—level.
A Philosophical Problem
Dr. Bryce believes the church’s relative ineffectiveness in modern times, despite affluence and political pull, originates from a philosophical problem. Namely, we don’t see ourselves as the body of Christ.
Instead, we draw parallels between the church and our favorite football team, civic organization, or community group.
But organizations are human-like in form and design, while Christ’s body shouldn’t rely on clever marketing, slogans, or political involvement.
The problem he sees with this kind of outlook is the church’s habit of imitating business in the way we organize. In a corporate model, particularly in megachurches that have gained in popularity in recent times, the pastor is the CEO and the elders (or deacons) are the board of directors.
This model features clergy as the primary performers on stage, while members of the congregation become bystanders for what some label “the Sunday show.”
That may look great on Sunday, but we’re to be out ministering Monday through Saturday.
It’s worth noting Dr. Bryce isn’t anti-megachurch, since he attends one in a suburb of Dallas. Nor is he anti-clergy; his pastor has endorsed the book. Yet, what he says makes eminent sense, especially at a time when the church is under attack.
Working in Rhythm
Here are a couple major points he brings out in the recent blog posts I worked on.
- The body of Christ should beat like the human heart: rhythmically, in orchestra-like unity.
As a young doctor, he assisted a surgeon who asked him to hold a patient’s heart and turn it so the surgeon could work on it from a better angle. Dr. Bryce was fascinated watching billions of heart cells coordinate their activities.
He notes that individual heart cells cannot accomplish their God-given function alone, but only as many members in one organ. A single heart cell cannot pump blood to the body, no matter how hard it tries.
This is a consistent pattern found in all living bodies, he writes, with the parallel that communication in God’s divine body should flow both ways. You influence your neighbor and vice versa. Thus, God’s plan—many members working together as one body.
“When Jesus said we would ‘do even greater things than these’ (John 14:12), He was referring to the body of Christ,” Bryce says. “Not spectacular, miracle-working individuals doing a better job than Him.”
- The body of Christ should operate like an ant colony or a beehive.
He says we should consider how neither the queen ant or the queen bee controls the colony. Their only function is to produce baby ants, or bees. Yet, despite the lack of centralized control, the group acts purposefully, as if a single unit.
So it is with the body of Christ, he says. Each of us has a free will to do as we see fit, with the overall behavior of the body emerging from our combined actions.
“Jesus told us, ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them,’ (Matthew 18:20 NIV),” Dr. Bryce says. “We are His body. Let’s act like it.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.